How to Improve Google Ranking with Content Marketing

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How to create an effective strategy of content marketing in 7 easy steps

While Google regularly releases new updates to its search algorithm, SEO becomes ever more complex and the risk of incurring penalties is getting higher. In this article we will see how to structure a simple content marketing strategy to improve the ranking on Google and generate leads in the post Penguin and PBN de-indexing era.

Current rankings and health status check

In order to improve the ranking of your site is extremely important to know the status of ranking in Google search results and the site health of the website itself.

 

Placement of keywords in the SERP check

There are many online tools that allow us to verify the ranking of a website on search engines. Some of them offer a range of additional information, tips and analysis of competitors, others are less complex but equally effective in this stage.

 

Among the premium solutions we love to use MOZ Pro and SemRush, but definitely viable alternative is Ahrefs.

 

If we are looking for a free software instead we can rely on WhatsMySerp, which offers to its users the ranking test of keywords with no limits, the chance to save and verify the trend over time. Alternatively we can use the rank cecker of Serps.

 

WhatsMySERP is a free SEO online tool which offers to its users the ranking test of keywords with no limits, the chance to save and verify the trend over time

Loading speed check

The page loading speed is one of the most relevant SEO OnPage factors for Google, therefore it is important to monitor it. We can find out where to modify the code in order to optimize each single page.
It is also relevant as key factors in user experience: the loading speed has a direct influence on the conversion rate and bounce rate.
For this test we can use either the free SEO tool offered by Pingdom, or GTmetrix.

Pingdom website speed test - best online free seo tool to test the speed of a website

 

Website health status check

Penguin and PBN de-indexing updates may have resulted in the de-indexation or ban of some links or even the entire website. To control whether or not Google has penalized our website, we can use the website penality indicator.

 

Setting of analysis metrics

Now that we have a complete picture of the existing situation we are going to set the metrics that will be needed to verify the results that we get from the strategy that we are going to adopt.

 

Objectives evaluation

But first we need to think about which are our conversion goals. If your site is an e-commerce the goal will be probably the purchase of a product. In this case, in order to obtain sufficient data we need to create a funnel with the aid of tags and triggers, which would make the system somewhat complex. Instead, we assume we have the classic case of a site that sells services, identifying the conversion goal in a form placed in the contact page (or a quote request).

Setup of Google analytics tols

The first step, if not already done, is to set Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tool: we create an account and verify our website. Remember not to affect the raw data by creating a second view (which we’ll call “master”) in the Analytics tool. On Webmaster we have to load the sitemap (if not present in the root of our server you will need to create one beforehand).

Setup of the conversion goals

On Google Analytics we create a goal based on the destination assigned to the redirection page of the form (the “thank you page”).
Open Analytics in “real time” mode at “conversions” and verify that, by filling out the form, an active X user who has made a conversion is showing up. If that works, we return on Analytics admin page and create a filter that excludes our IP.

Keyword analisys

To get good results in an inbound content marketing strategy, a crucial step is the study of the keywords. In this phase we will evaluate which keywords are used by the users wich are potentially interested in buying the service we provide on the site.

Google Keyword Planner

For the plan of the keywords we will use an indispensable tool, the Google Adwords Keyword planner.

 

The instrument will recommend us a variety of keywords that we will select based on the two parameters in the columns “average monthly searches” and “competition”.
The goal is to find the search keys with low/medium competition and a good average of monthly searches. To be precise, the keywords with low number of monthly searches are typically formed of several words, called long-tail keywords, an excellent resource for reaching easily well-targeted traffic and easy placement.

Spy on competitors

If we do not have premium tools like SEMRush, we can use the same Google Planner to check which keywords your direct competitors have used to rank, entering into the search field the URL of the competitor itself. It allows us to discover even new strategies and new catchment areas.

Strategy: cross-plattform or internal blog?

A crucial point is to choose whether conveying contents on the website through an internal blog or creating an external website for contents. It is then necessarily evaluating the two above options.

 

From a mere technical point of view, the benefits coming from using an internal blog are the following: creating direct traffic flow, increasing indexed pages, link juice, mean residence time, percentage of returning visitors and highly probable to increase the avarage number of pages per visitor. On the other side, these are internal links and not backlink.

 

As regards the contents, instead, we have limits because we are talking about branded contents.
Basically, it is possible to create information and advertising contents but it is not possible to create benchmarking articles including opinion about the services offered.

 

Creating a content net represent a good solution that frees us from the constraints of the brand and offers a good opportunity to create backlinks. The only flaw is that it is necessarily to pay attention to the Penguin and PBN de-indexing updates.
First of all we have to avoid that the two websites are hosted on the same server, having the same IP or being registered under the same person.

Strategy: content planning

We now have a clear selection of the keywords to use. Now we have to create content.

 

It can be trivial to say, but it is important to remind you that valid contents must have:

 

uniqueness, quality, quantity.

 

Such contents will more easly appeal new visitors, fostering the social sharing and valid backlinks.

From keywords to content

We now have the topic and keywords, only one piece is missing: content.
We can give ample space to our creating writing or look online articles that have generated and constantly generates traffic or we decide to rely on BuzzSumo.

 

BuzzSumo is a premium software that I really recommend for who deals with content marketing.
It allows to find articles that generates more traffic and sharing through keywords and topic, filtering them by publishing date, social platform where shared, content type, geographic area and language.

Find content in Google

As mentioned before, the free option is having a lot of patient and look in Mountaign View search engine the keywords of our interest and look into SERP the contents that answer the queries that our target may enter.

 

Can we do better?

 

If so, let’s start working on it. Do not forget that the most shared contents are tutorials, infographics, and lists (More: Content Marketing: which content marketing fits best your needs?).

Write an attractive title

Content is important but title is vital. A good title can make the difference and can even enhance the relationship between impression and click compered to a better positioned link .

 

Here some tips:
using numbers in the lists, I.e “6 easy marketing strategies for a successful e-Commerce
or “Web Marketing: How I have increased visits over a week by 300%

 

stimulate curiosity,
I.e. “Matt Cutts reveals the 5 secrets of Penguin update

Strategy: build up the page

Given that the graphic structure of the page depends on the target, there are some rules that can help to get better results of conversion.

Font and font dimension

We are on the web. First of all, font has to be easy to read. Thus,
it is necessary to adapt it to the target and content.

 

I would not use Helvetica (used in this article) to talk about ayurvedic medicine and I would not use Times to talk about last generation laser technology. I will avoid too small fonts that I would calibrate on the basis of professional and cultural level of target.

 

If I have to write and article about the magic drink that makes you lost 5 pounds in a week(…I speak for experience but do not judge me), I will use large letters, high contrast title, sutured colors.

Images

The images are another element to use weel. Never use images with low quality, if necessary choose carefully stock images on Shutterstock or 123RF.

 

Further images are a good SEO tool that travel on a separated channel (Google image) and are useful to reach high competitive fields of positioning.
It is possible to realize entire strategies based on images. An example is the blog about art events curated by our editorial staff: Katarte, with more than 1000 images indexed on the first position in Google Images.

Call to Action (CTA)

An article is like a story.

 

A quick introduction, an analytical discourse divided into sections, finally a conclusion. If we have attracted user’s attention, we involved him or helped him in solving a problem, we convinced him to be a trustful interlocutor, and will be be predisposed to contact us.

 

Declaring the offer of your service or the reason for the contact request at this point will allow a possible conversion .

 

It’s time to play the card of the Call to Action :

Are you a Blogger? Are you Passionate about SEO?

Tell us about your content network and discover how to collaborate with the Simpliza team

Contact us!

Conclusions

In order to generate leads and conversions you need to thoroughly study the behavior of the specific audience target and understand how Google rewards or penalizes our pages and our content.

 

The secret lies in intercepting the intentions of our target users and create appropriate content that same users will be prepared to consume, and persuad them to get into the funnel that will lead to our objectives, which is the purchase of a product, the download of a game, or (as in this case) the invitation to the discussion or the contact.

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